I know talking about the ending has been done to death, but I just wanted to get my thoughts on it written down. I originally posted this on Destructoid's community blogs, but i wanted to throw it up here as well. also, there are spoilers in this. but i assume you knew that by the title.
I don't feel that my decisions were not taken into account in Mass Effect 3. I sort of feel like the entire third game is what should be considered the "Ending" of Mass Effect, because expecting the final 10 minutes of a story of over 100 hours to touch on everything you did leading up to it is outrageous. I saw what I had done to the universe, to the people I (meaning Shepard) loved, and I felt the weight of my decisions the entire time. I think the game succeeded in that regard. If any change was made to the ending, I think it should have ended sooner than it did. I felt all the closure I needed when Shepard and Anderson are sitting together looking down at the earth they somehow managed to save.
Mass Effect, for all its galactic war and politics, struck me as a very personal story. It was about a small group of people drawn together by their circumstances, and bonded by friendship as they hurled themselves toward almost certain death. It was about sacrifice. It was about making tough decisions and dealing with the consequences. What it wasn't (or shouldn't have been) about was what happens ten thousand years after the end of the game. That's some other crew's story. I could care less about the implications of my actions in the far-flung future. I care about whether or not Tali will be able to finally settle down and build her house on her homeworld and if Wrex can restore his people from the brink of extinction. i care about Cortez being able to finally forgive himself and find closure about the death of his husband. I care about Joker and EDI and whether or not she can forgive me for being too weak to give the Geth another chance. I cared about my crew in Mass Effect. Probably more than i ever have about other characters in a video game. I felt for them and I worried and for better or for worse I knew that what I did made a difference to them. That is how Mass Effect really ended for me. I don't think Bioware has any obligation to do anything about their ending, because the great thing about fiction is that its up to the person reading or watching or playing it to take away from it what they want regardless of the intent of its creator. what I took away from Mass Effect was pretty incredible, and something that no new forced ending could ever hope to improve on.